Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/505/3253

From The Socialist newspaper, 11 October 2007

Iraq occupation: Brown's token gesture

GORDON BROWN'S statement on Iraq, announcing a reduction of 1,000 serving British troops by Christmas (2,500 by spring 'depending on conditions'), will do little to appease anti-war campaigners and ordinary Iraqis.

Simon Carter

Brown's statement is partly recycling a Ministry of Defence announcement from July 2007 that 500 troops will be withdrawn (of whom 270 have already returned home). Many people suspect that the reduction of Britain's 5,300 troops currently in Iraq will simply mean transferring forces to fight the developing war in Afghanistan.

And the suggestion that withdrawing troops from the Basra area, along with the troop "surge" by US forces in Baghdad, indicates a 'stabilisation' of the political situation in Iraq is a myth.

The withdrawal of British troops from Basra city has seen an upsurge in factional violence between different Shia groups and militias.

Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, leader of the Mehdi army, and Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, head of the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq, have been locked in a bitter dispute for months. They have recently agreed a truce but the jockeying for power and control over the southern Iraq oilfields could easily reignite the conflict.

Across Iraq, as the so-called Iraq national government continues to fracture along sectarian lines, there is a bitter struggle by the different sectarian Sunni, Shia and Kurdish party leaders to grab territory and economic resources for themselves.

The Kurdish authorities have announced four exploration contracts and two refinery deals, worth around $800m (400m), giving rights to look for oil under Kurdish territory.

A few weeks ago the Kurdish 'government' signed its first ever exploration deal with a foreign oil firm, Hunt Oil from Texas. The Iraqi national oil minister in Baghdad described this deal as illegal.

US president George Bush claims the 30,000 troop surge has been a success. "Our troops are performing brilliantly," he said. "Ordinary life is beginning to return [to Baghdad]." "Ordinary life" includes the shooting dead of 17 Iraqi civilians in the capital city by mercenaries working for the private company Blackwater USA.

US forces do not keep complete records of civilians killed but a survey of Iraqi households in the Lancet suggested that - by July 2006 - about 655,000 Iraqi deaths were "a consequence of the war". In addition, more than 4,000 coalition soldiers have died.

According to a September 2007 poll commissioned by the BBC, ABC and NHK to assess the effects of the US military's surge strategy, 70% of Iraqis believed the strategy had made Iraq's security situation worse. The survey indicated that the surge has hampered conditions for political dialogue, reconstruction and economic development and has not improved security.

Blair and now Brown as New Labour prime ministers have spent well over 6 billion on both the Iraq and Afghan wars. Bush has blown a staggering $745 billion. The US military budget for 2008 amounts to spending $20,000 every second!

Yet, after four-and-a-half years of US-British occupation, living conditions remain intolerable. Homes in Baghdad get only eight hours of electricity supply a day and only a third are connected to water mains. Over 60,000 people a month (up from 50,000) are now leaving the country as refugees.

The only people to profit from the war and occupation have been the US approved contracting firms involved in 'reconstruction', the arms manufacturers, oil companies, and a layer of Iraqi officials linked to the country's political parties.

The only effective anti-war policy is for the immediate withdrawal of all US and British forces.

Only the Iraqi people themselves can bring the internal conflict to an end and secure a voluntary federation of the country. On the basis of a workers' and peasants' government the country's massive oil wealth could be used to reconstruct the shattered infrastructure and end the mass unemployment and poverty gripping Iraq.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 11 October 2007:

Unity with the postal workers

Gloucestershire shows determination

Marching in support of the Burslem 12

Anger at Leighton, Crozier and Brown

Picket line round-up

Determination to continue the battle


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Private hands off our NHS!


What we think

Brown's expedient election climb-down


War and terrorism

Anti-war movement upholds right to protest

Burmese students join London march


Socialism 2007

Socialism 2007: Debates to sharpen your socialism


Socialist Party news and analysis

Windscale 1957

Super-rich super-donators

Any spare cash?

Beat back the profiteers

Cuts kill - no reductions in the fire service!


Socialist Party feature

1917 October Revolution: the working class took power


International socialist news and analysis

Darfur bloodshed fuelled by land and oil grab

Iraq occupation: Brown's token gesture


Workplace news and analysis

Civil servants march against cuts and privatisation

Bolton care workers fight on

National Shop Stewards Network holds meetings around the country


 

Home   |   The Socialist 11 October 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Occupation:

trianglePunishment of Tamimi family awakens wave of international solidarity

triangleVietnam War: 50 years since the Tet Offensive

triangleTrump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian conflict

triangleScotland: BiFab workers' occupation and march secures jobs and pay guarantee

triangleHousing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right

Iraq:

triangleOpinion: British imperialism can take no credit in fight against Isis

triangleMovement challenges Iranian regime

triangleKurdish referendum declared illegal

triangle'From Militant to the Socialist Party' - new book now available

US:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleYour newspaper fights with you: help fund it with May Day greetings

triangleVictory! Trump's UK visit cancelled by fear of protests

Oil:

triangleMovement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangleHurricane Harvey: A tragedy made far worse by capitalism

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

20/2/18

Manchester

After 80 strike days Mears workers achieve victory

19/2/18

Walthamstow

Building the campaign against clearances of the working class

16/2/18

Haringey

No fudge with the right wing

15/2/18

TUSC

TUSC statement on sentencing of Derby TUSC agent

14/2/18

Haringey

Haringey protests HDV - but Labour fails to kill it off completely

14/2/18

UCU

Uni strike: coordinate public sector fightback

14/2/18

Cardiff

Enjoyable and successful Cardiff Refugee Rights gig

14/2/18

Carlisle

Carlisle debate - socialism or social democracy?

14/2/18

Firefighters

Staines fire services saved

14/2/18

Surrey

Threat of action defeats pay cut at Surrey council

14/2/18

Woolwich

Woolwich Crossrail walkouts to demand promised bonuses

14/2/18

London

Sadiq Khan's bus drivers' London licence doesn't go far enough

14/2/18

Mansfield

Stop press: victory - campaign saves NHS rehab ward

8/2/18

Newham

Teachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts

7/2/18

Unison

Unison national women's conference

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999